In a non-reactive saucepan combine sugar, water, cinnamon stick and balsamic vinegar. If using fresh berries add to saucepan and keep over low heat. If using frozen berries, allow balsamic mixture to come to a boil over medium heat, add berries and lower flame once the mixture has returned to a boil.
Simmer over low heat 15-25 minutes or until blueberries begin to burst and the liquid has reduced to syrup; remove cinnamon stick and set aside. If the mixture has reduced too far, add water by the teaspoon until desired consistency.
While the berries are cooking, prepare pancakes. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl combine remaining ingredients and whisk until sugar has dissolved.
Make a well in dry ingredients and add the buttermilk mixture; stir until JUST combined (the lumps serve a purpose, I promise!). Allow to rest for five minutes.
On a griddle or large shallow pan, heat over medium heat until a drop of water instantly sizzles on the surface.
Coat with oil of choice (I use butter) and add pancake mix in ¼ cup increments, making sure to leave space between. Flip as soon as you see bubbles start to form, about 1 ½ -2 minutes.
Serve immediately with compote, top with whipped cream or crème fraiche.